Combining precious metals, feathers, boxwood carvings, and rock crystal, the “Hearst Chalice” stands out as one of the most complex works of sixteenth-century Mexican silversmithing. Used in ancient times and invested with sacred meaning, these materials were redeployed to create Christian objects, demonstrating an important level of agency for Native artists as they staked their place in the new body politic. Although mostly deteriorated, the feathers would have glistened with ambient light and motion, helping channel the spirit of the divine.
From exhibition Archive of the World, 2022 (for more information see the catalogue entry by Ilona Katzew and Rachel Kaplan in the accompanying publication, cat. no. 15, pp. 100–06)
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- Katzew, Ilona, and Rachel Kaplan. “‘Like the Flame of Fire’: A New Look at the ‘Hearst’ Chalice.” Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture 3, no. 1 (2021): 4–29.
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